PCS Military Moving Preparation
You open your mailbox and there they are PCS Military orders. This is common rhetoric for military members and their families. Soldiers on active duty receive a permanent change of station (PCS) every 2 to 7 years, depending on their station and rank. They are required to relocate to different cities or even different countries and restart their lives in a new area. To soldiers who have recently joined the military, the frequency of these moves can seem daunting and stressful. However, if you follow these helpful tips, the process can become much more bearable. Find out everything you need to know to survive your first PCS military move!
PCS military moving requires a lot of preparation, particularly if you are relocating during “PCS season” (from May to August). Unfortunately, starting the moving process early can be difficult when working in the military. A PCS can arrive anywhere from five months to two weeks before the report date. Nevertheless, once an official order to relocate is in hand, preparation should begin immediately. Start by setting up a meeting with your base transportation office. They’ll put you in contact with individuals who can help you throughout the moving process. Once you have spoken with them, notify your landlord about your impending move or, if you own your home, be prepared to put your house on the market.
PPM or Government Move?
The military offers two moving options: a government transportation move or a personally procured move (PPM). If you choose to use government transportation, all your possessions will be packed, loaded into a van, and delivered to your new location by a military-approved moving company. Certain weight allowances are imposed, depending on ranks and number of dependents. If you choose this option, do not pre-pack your belongings. Since the moving company is liable for anything that breaks, the movers are required to pack or repack all possessions outside of personal suitcases.
If you choose to do a PPM, you will be responsible for finding a commercial carrier or moving your belongings on your own. As compensation, the military will reimburse you up to 95% of the cost they would have paid in a government move. You will also be entitled to other benefits, including certain travel allowances and $25,000 of insurance coverage. However, the money from the military can only be used to buy truck or trailer rentals (hand truck rentals are also acceptable), packing blankets, gas, tolls for the rental truck, and materials for packing. Unauthorized expenses include, but are not limited to, gas in person vehicles, meals, accommodations, moving dollies, and insurance fees. Many military members choose to apply for PPM, because those who are frugal and plan well typically emerge from the move with a profit.
When relocating with the military, the family or individual that’s moving is required to create an inventory of all possessions and valuable items. This inventory protects the military member’s possessions in case something goes missing or is broken over the course of the move. To protect this list and prevent it from getting lost, many military members have found it useful to assemble a PCS binder where they can keep their inventories as well as important files, such as birth certificates, social security cards, and checks.
What Should I Do about Housing?
Moving can be expensive. Low VA Rates understands that and exists to help veterans and active military members pay less on their home loans wherever they settle. Visit our home page to learn more about the many benefits Low VA Rates offers when it’s time for you to move again.